News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 303

Students visit wild horses at the Litchfield Corrals

 Wild horses are a big part of the heritage in the high deserts of northeast California, and every year Lassen County elementary school students learn more about it by visiting the Bureau of Land Management's Litchfield Corrals near Susanville.  This year, seven classes from two schools toured the facility and watched as wranglers vaccinated and freeze marked recently-gathered horses to prepare them for adoption.

 A highlight was the chance to pet Blue, a young gelding being gentled and trained for work as a BLM saddle horse.  Blue was patient and understanding with the throngs of children and little hands on his nose, below. BLM Range Management Specialist Pat Farris stayed close by to give Blue some added assurance.

Blue (the horse) shows his patience as childen gather around to touch his nose
Hands reach out to touch Blue

Below, some children seemed entranced by Blue's gentle disposition.
More petting

During their visit, the classes visited four learning stations.  They  watched horse preparation, learned about the BLM and how wild horses and burros fit into management of the public lands, and learned about the landscape by using hand lenses to study the plants that are the key to horses survival in the wild. They also worked in time for a game -- Pin the Tail on the Donkey (a paper one, of course!).

Below, lunchtime on the haystacks is a great way to end the day before heading back to school.
Lunchtime before heading back to school

- Jeff Fontana, 10/07


BLM California News.bytes, issue 303